Zenvesting: Kissing the UglyBy:
Since my early teens I have searched to find the truth about success, and I have been advising people on their finances and managing global investment portfolios for over 25 years. I welcome your questions and hope my answers can help you feel happier, more successful, and more at ease about your finances. -Paul Sutherland
My fiancée wants an expensive wedding and plans to double our original budget. I want to give her the special day she’s been dreaming of, but this amount of money could be a down payment on a house! Since we can’t afford this anyway, how can I convince her to compromise?
If money was no constraint, I think you might say “fine” to a big wedding to give her the day of her dreams. If so, this is not about money, it is about options and values. I suspect that you don’t want to even look at a big and expensive wedding as an option, but you must go there, because it is the right thing to do. Relationship communication is not about convincing. It is about communicating your goals, fears, and desires — and hopefully rooting them in reality. In other words, explore your options, and do a reality check. The process is what I call “kissing the ugly.”
First, I would sit down and define exactly what her ideal wedding would look like. What location? How many guests? What kind of food and flowers exactly? Second, figure out how much that wedding will cost. Third, figure out what resources you have to pay for it. What do you have in savings? How much can you borrow (and still have money left over for beans and tofu)? Will parents/grandparents help?
After looking at your available resources for the Big Expensive Wedding, ask your fiancée to come up with some “What else could we do with all that money?” ideas. Will paying for the wedding make getting a home/ having kids/ getting your master’s/ starting the yoga studio that much further away? Will it mean a smaller house? If she thinks this is a fair tradeoff, then fine, have a big wedding.
Life is a long time. It is okay to retire three years later because of the big wedding, as long as you know that this is true, based on your cost analysis. Big or small, extravagant or intimate, what’s important is that you and your fiancée declare your sacred loving commitment to each other. The rest is pure fluff for everyone else. I would love to hear how this all turns out. Please send photos!
My husband and I have been married for five years but we’re still plodding along at entry-level positions and don’t have more than a couple thousand saved for emergencies. At 29 years old, I’m feeling like my prime childbearing years are slipping away. How will I know when we’re financially able to have a baby?
I am a guy who writes on finance and believes in planning, but when it comes to kids, money is less important than values or